tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN January 6, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
>> he has what it takes. >> i know. >> so eat to see you. >> thank you for having me, erin. >> all right. tonight we want to bring you a personal story. missing florida mother michelle barker disappeared seven weeks ago. we were unable to get to that. but we're going to speak to her mother in an interview tomorrow. on that note, here is "piers morgan" tonight. he practically invented talk television. phil donahue. >> he's a liberal. by the way, we're not liberals anymore. this is not the country my parents raised me to pledge my allegiance to. >> how am i doing? >> you're pretty focused. i enjoy watching you. >> plus, the youngest victim of the shooting that nearly killed gabbie giffords.
>> i was thinking it was a nightmare and that i was going to wake up so, i kept on pinch myself, hoping it wasn't real. it was horrible. >> this is piers morgan tonight. good evening. i probably wouldn't be doing this job if it weren't for my guest. the man did an astounding 6,000 shows, won nine emmys and lifetime achievement award. pretty much invented the daytime talk show. he talked to everybody and tonight, i have the great honor of being the latest person that phil donahue talks to. when i said i was interviewing you, i put it on twitter this morning. one tweet. is that right? has one tweet. >> that's my secretary's creation.
you know, i'm afraid i don't twitter. i do text. >> yeah. >> i don't when i'm driving. i've already been stopped for being on the phone. >> i got this amazing reaction and the themes were mr. america, icon. tv legend. the outpouring of affection for you and respect. real respect. was extraordinary. probably more than almost any other guest i've had. how does that make you feel? >> very good. >> when you look back on this career you've had? >> i've had people come to up to me in airports. thank you, mr. donahue. because of you, i got out of an abusive marriage. because of your show, i came out to my parents. because of your show, i learned to speak english. that's wonderful, to have that kind of influence on people's lives.
>> do you miss it? >> i don't miss the daily of it. you know, new tie. you know, it's a -- you don't get to 6,000 shows unless you do it every day and we did and we were very proud of the fact that we seldom repeated a guest. we always wanted them to wonder what was tomorrow. >> really, so you didn't repeat very often? >> not at all. not at all. very few. madeleine marie o'hare was a repeat guest. ralph nader. and we would do, you know, we would do a lot of what you saw later on. we did, my husband doesn't kiss me anymore and kaboom, the phones just smoked. couldn't get to them fast enough. shows like that were -- obgyns were great for us.
women could audit their own doctor. call. this is when the pill was new and women were complaining about side effects. >> what do you think of the way that television has evolved since your show stopped? >> well, you know, it's hard for me to, i don't want to criticize them, because i took a lot of heat. we did, you know, we brought male strippers to daytime television. it wasn't my idea. i said, where we going to put the microphone? and these guys came out all pumped you know, and they started throwing things and the women in the audience were screaming. i have never seen such unbridled elation and excitement and fun
that you -- and all the women were there, your baby sister, your grandmother, were all there. this was in boston. and they had the time of their lives and boy, oh, boy. that was a real -- >> given that you were so cutting edge with what you were doing, do you feel that television, like life, it kind of evolves naturally and to be too critical of the next generations way of doing things almost misses that point. >> it's supposed to be different. >> yeah. it would be strange if you did approve of it all in a sense, wouldn't it? >> yeah, we were always different. we better be because we were visually dull. we had no spinning wheels and there was a guy on the other station, monty hall was giving $5,000 to a woman dressed like a chicken salad sandwich.
come on down. and here i was with two talking heads and no one in new york or l.a. could understand this. we had folding chairs. two cameras. no desk, no couch. no band. >> amazing. >> and what got us here were issues. we knew because we were visually go and against all those spinning wheels, it would be the only chance we had would be to book issues that were seldom seen on television. our first show was madeleine marie o'hare. the atheist. we put a gay guy on in 1968, before stonewall. >> amazing. what was the reaction to that? >> oh, everybody thought their kids would catch it if they watched it. it's really amazing where we've come with that particular revolution.
it's just been warp speed. >> what was your single favorite show of them all? if i could let you do one again tomorrow, what would it be? >> we had a very good program with mohamed ali. this guy was -- >> the greatest. >> oh, he was wonderful. >> for a talk show, nobody more charismatic. >> he fought and he fell down. >> really? >> i got my hands in the air with the gloves, with a vest, tie, but and he's on the ground. he's on the floor of the stage. and we were really, i wanted it to look real. the tapes out there, i think oprah used it and man, we're going at it. i took my life in my hands doing one little pop and i'd still be asleep, but he played the game. he knew how to sell tickets. >> what was the story about ali? he managed to combine this incredible talent. he was one of the great boxers
in history, but also had this phenomenal brain and self-marketing style. >> marlo did a book titled "the right words at the right time." it asked celebrities to share that moment when somebody said something to them that changed their lives. the right words at the right time. and you could write your piece for the book or have it written and then you would have final cut. whatever somebody else wrote. i did two. ted turner and mohamed ali. he would go to the armory in louisville and he went one day and saw gorgeous george and he's sitting there and this guy walks out with the velvet thing and the mink trim, the big cape and the hair. yellow hair, going up -- and he
would say, ali is sitting there. don't you make face of this face. i got the prettiest face out there and people would boo and ali is sitting there telling me about this and he said, i looked around and there were no empty seats, so he learned how to -- he, he got lucky and he found howard cosell as the perfect foil and he also brought pride and boldness to young black males. you know? be proud and you know, don't be quiet like the white people want you to be. be yourself. he made his parents nervous. he was a loud mouth kid and that was so unusual for the time. black people were supposed to
behave. >> he was one of the great trail blazers, wasn't me? a fearless trail blazer. >> absolutely. i think he's the athlete of the 20th century and i think he should have won the peace prize. they stripped him of his because he wouldn't go -- ain't got nothing against no calm. >> amazing line. >> and you know, that took a lot of courage. i went to see him to write the piece. he, he has a ranch in northern indiana just like 25 minutes from my alma mater, notre dame, which is in south bend, indiana. it's just a straight shot to the ranch. so, i drove in. i was expected. and i parked, sign side goat. goat. greatest of all time. and i walk in and they have a real ring in here. a real ring and it was beautiful.
big windows, you look out on the green, the forest like surroundings. it was lovely. and the door opened over here and out he comes. and he's coming for me. and he gets about this far and he goes. i mean, i haven't been that flattered in a long time. >> and he's an amazing guy. when we come back, i want to talk politics. i know you're a very lively view on knicks. i want to know what you think of the gop race. about president obama. who's going to win in november? let's talk about the break.
[clucking] [ding] [clucking] announcer: separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards. 3,000 americans will die from food poisoning this year. keep your family safer. check your steps at foodsafety.gov. the bottom line is i don't want to make people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. i want to give them the opportunity for them to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and fair families. >> that's rick santorum's tongue tied moment. phil donahue, what do you make of the rick santorum surge? >> one of many.
he's, i saw him commenting on the straits of hormuz. he's angry. and you can hear the drums in the background. and the heart beat accelerates. he wants to -- he wants to go after iran. i mean, how many wars do you want to have in your lifetime? how many bombs are you going to drop? i just think it looks like we've become a warrior nation. we bombed grenadea. we are drops bombs on crowded cities at night where old people and children are sleeping and we're watching it on cnn. and the only voice that's spoken up at all in this campaign about this is ron paul.
what are we doing with all those wars? how are we safer? no orr candidate can possibly speak those words. it would be they believe politically fatal. you can't use an antiwar platform to get elected, so maybe that explains why it's so easy for us to go to war. norma solomon has win a book, "war made easy." he says if the president of the united states wants a war, he can have one. totally. it's very, very hard to decent. think about what's against the person who wants to say, wait a minute, are you sure?
newt gingrich said ron paul's positions are dangerous. so, it's fear. we have to be tough. and we're killing our young adult children because of this. >> what i've noticed about americans and america when it comes to this kind of thing, is there anybody that dare speak up against a war? instantly gets labeled bracketed, a pacifist, coward, weak. and it's not really like that in many other countries. it's the kind of thing that mystifies me. you don't have to be a fas fist to disagree with say the iraq war. >> yes. >> at all. it's not pas fizz m. it is if you say no war is ever acceptable. if you say winston churchill had no right to have a war with hitler, that is at its weakest. but when it comes to issues like
iraq, incredibly important that the world's number one military power, number one economic power, has a proper debate about whether they could go into these things without people being labeled a pacifist if it's not a good idea. >> that's just one of the pushbacks and i'm not brave enough to be a pacifist. i am like millions of other americans, very, very concerned about our foreign policy. behavior. over the past several years. and the way that our the bedrock of this nation has been chipped away by the people who democracy, democracy, and their turning their back on the bill of rights. we have people in cages with no habieus, no red cross. yeah, this is not the country that my parents raised me to pledge my allegiance to.
you can't say you're a proud american and then water board somebody. you can't say you're a proud american and assassinate an american citizen in another country. those are mutually exclusive ideas. >> ron paul, i interviewed him yesterday. it's interesting you say this. his big thing, it's an impressive thing to say is he supports the constitution. >> i'm telling you -- >> and for that, people call him crazy. i don't have a horse in the race, i'm british. here's a guy who basically repeatedly says i support the constitution. >> ron paul's concern about our adventureism is in newt gingrich's words, dangerous. peace is dangerous.
and the people who call for it are marginalized. we don't get it. we don't understand. liberals are always scolding. i've had more than one person say if a liberal complains about something, they will respond by saying that's the trouble with you liberals, you don't like anything about america. so if you criticize america, it means you don't like anything. that's how they just push back. >> isn't it also true that the right wing, the republicans who espouse traditional social conservative, they get the same caricaturing. >> yes, it does. i think about myself. about being mess yannick. that's what i see on the other side. the other thing that's
separating us from a candidate is an imaginary line and our health care costs half as much as theirs. the only thing preventing us from a -- is dogma and socialism. they're so intimidated and hateful. of socialism. that they're willing to continue a health care system in this nation that is a security risk. >> i find oit extraordinary. coming from a country where you have the national health system. it's free. if you are young, poor, old, rich, doesn't matter. it's the same. and it's not perfect. but the ideology's pretty good. it's like we will look after you. whatever your means. and here, barack obama comes in, carries out an election pledge that got him elected, to basically expand free health care, cheap health care to people who can't afford it and i couldn't believe it. he then gets absolutely hammered
and this is being seen as an abject failure. i'm going, so let me get this straight. a president says when i get into power, i'm going to make it more available for poor people to have better health care than they're getting already and this is an abject miserable failure that he should be lambasted for? >> he's calling for a nanny government. he's a liberal. by the way, we're not liberals anymore. i mean, our -- nobody runs around saying i'm a liberal, i'm a liberal. we're almost ashamed of the name. and we're not liberals anymore. we're progressives. excuse you for breathing. going to break. come back and talk about the american way, the american dream and how you think this can be repaired because there's no doubt it has been damaged in recent years.
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>> marlo thomas stars in thieves and we hope that you have a nice day. >> that is a fantastic moment in television because as 1977 and that woman is your future wife. and as you hold hands there, flirting for america, phil donahue, you're falling in love. you can tell. written all over both your faces. >> well, she was an impure thought. i don't know if you have to be cast to understand what that means. >> i am a catholic and i do. >> and it's true. there i was. she was just obviously a very exciting person. she was not only gorgeous, she had great facility, language and she had opinions. a feminist. she really had something to say that she could push back or agree with or bounce off of and so she was a combination of good things for guests. we all want celebrities. >> cool.
>> wu the best, the celebrities really have something to say and she did. and here i am. 30, 32 years later. >> you've been very honest, i think, about the fact your first marriage failed because you worked to hard. even though you've had an incredibly successful marriage since then, is that still a regret to you? it's a perennial debate. when you look back, what do you think? >> well, it is certainly true that first of all, i was a single parent. i had four sons and you know, i was on the air every day. had to be careful about what i said. one time, i said, jimmy won't eat anything green and a kid in his class the next day said, hey, jim, how come you don't eat your peas and he was angry. and i can't say i blame him.
i get it now. that was an innovation of his privacy. i backed up and almost never made any kind of personal detailed reference to my family. i felt i had a responsible toy protect. you know, it's not that easy. to have a celebrity parent can be a real pain in the neck and i realize that more now than i did when i was there. >> there's another woman in your life who paid a great tribute to, oprah. it's been an amazing year, larry king. regis philbin, oprah ending hers let's watch a little clip from the oprah finaleric, which had a touching moment with you. >> that first day in 1984, all of my bosses, every single person in my life said you are walking into a land mine. you're going to be in chicago up
against phil donahue and he is going to blow your socks off. >> well, she didn't do too badly. but oprah's a -- oprah was incredibly generous to me. gave me two hours and saw for a week after. an amazingly gracious thing for her to have done. what do you think of oprah? >> i think oprah has risen to a level in the stratosphere unknown to all of us. it's a wonderful, wonderful story. she is a unparalleled success in our business. >> why, do you think? >> she's a compelling personality and i think you know, she e lis. >> i've never met her before she walked through door for my first interview.
she's genuine. oprah winfrey, beneath the billions, the tabloid headlines, is a genuine woman. >> i don't think she could get to where she has without that. >> is that the secret do you think of broadcasting? particularly when you're in people's lives, a country like america every day, week in, month in. it finds you out, doesn't it? there's no point pretending to be something. >> i always said, it is not realistic to expect me to walk down the center of every issue, a mechanical man, never revealing how he feels. i think if you watch my show enough, you pretty much guess. i never felt i had to be in the closet about my political views. i do think it's possible to talk too much and become an evangelical host. that's not a good thing. but i didn't hesitate to say what i thought.
and in many ways, i'm penalized for that. nobody liked a scold, a negative person and that's the problem that will always confront the liberal. >> i've got to end by what i was going the ask at the start of this segment. the american dream. in many ways, you personified the great american dream. >> i think so, too. >> what's happened to that dream now? is it the same? should it be adapted for the modern era? >> look at my own early history. i worked in a steel mill when i was 18 years old in the summer. i was a student add notre dame and i worked at republic steel in canton, summer job. i don't know, do steel mills have summer jobs anymore? i'm not sure. but that's an experience for a 17, 18-year-old.
i saw the fouled air and the suit and the grime and the heat from the open haerts and the guys shoveling that coal and what they were breathing. that was really my first confrontation with what work was like for millions of people. it was a tremendously informing experience to have that kind of job that young. then i moved on to other things. these opportunities are not able for young people. i think it's much tougher to be 17 or 18 today than it was when i was 17 or 18. i think there is part of the reason for what you suggest the is the decline of our noble experiment here. job availability. people are angry. we had an administration, you
know, it seems to me that with all the habeous that's going down. this is a nation of law unless we're scared. it's amazing how fear, just powerfully influences human behavior. george bush exercised the strategy of fear in bleeding the entire nation into the sword of the vietnam war. saddam is coming. he's under your bed. he's outside your window. a smoking gun -- you could feel the heart beat of the nation and the vote was taken in the congress a week before an election. now, who's going to stand up nine, ten, months after the towers were knocked down and say, no to a war when we had the administration convincing some very bright people that it was
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mccain, the wife of the senator, is here today and i appreciate her being on the trail. thank you, thank you, cindy. >> romney won iowa. the campaign has moved to south carolina. can santorum surge? joining me now is is former u.s. senator, tim talent. it should be i guess a time of great celebration and yet i would imagine at the same time, trepidation for the romney camp. >> we don't take anything for granted. iowa was a good victory. his message is working. that he has the experience in the private sector, the economy, but we've got to take that message to each state, new hampshire, south carolina and work hard in every state. >> what are you most worried about? the "boston globe" has just endorsed jon huntsman.
that's a pretty good endorsement, isn't it? >> piers, i've got to tell you, i don't know. because we've had one person after another surge. this is the most unpredictable process that i've ever been a part of, but we have a strong candidate with a strong message and so, he's just going to go out and do thiz thing in each of these states and i am confidence that we will get to the 1150 delegates that we need. >> and is that the focus? i saw mitt romney saying either today or yesterday, the focus for him is the number of delegates. the slings and arrows of foreign fortune as we go through these states isn't as important to him as delegates. >> the end goal is to get nominated. we thought from the beginning a long process. that's why governor romney, along among the candidates, is
organized in so many states. working in so many states. it's why he's tried to have a consistent message that he's credible carrying. he's the one with the private sector experience. he can turn the economy around. bea obama. that's the message that works across the country. mitt romney has run the best campaign. the most consistent. the way he's dealt with newt gingrich. i suppose the one big unanswered question is why can he not break through what has become almost mythical party? >> he's going to breakthrough that barrier i hope and believe in a couple of days in new hampshire. i look at it a little differently. he's the one in a very fractionalized field that has a solid core of support across all segments and regions of the
country. he's going to do very well in new hampshire and as the field narrows, his support is going to grow. that's certainly what we hope. he has a message that appeals across the board. it worked in iowa and we'll see if it works in new hampshire. >> he's been doing lots of safe interviews. is it time that he came back on my show? a bit of -- not dealing with just the friendly fire all the time? >> he would be a better guest i guess than i would. he's going to get a lot of fire and it's not so friendly on in the two debates over the weekend. these debates have been i think very revealing. governor romney is a good debater. we expect and hope if he gets the nomination, he'll do a good job against barack obama. >> we'd love to have him back on. he's slightly hiding at the moment, so go on. out you come. >> one thing you can't do in this process is hide.
i'll pass that along. i'm sure he'd love to be on. >> thank you very much for the time. appreciate it. >> thank you, piers. when we come back, the youngest victim of the shooting, her parents tell me their moving and emotional story. sarah, will you marry me? i think we should see other people. in fact, i'm already seeing your best friend, justin. ♪ i would have appreciated a proactive update on the status of our relationship. who do you think i am, tim? quicken loans? at quicken loans, we provide you with proactive updates on the status of your home loan. and our innovative online tools ensure that you're always in the loop. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ♪ [ female announcer ] if whole grain isn't the first ingredient in your breakfast cereal, what is?
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the youngest victim of the shooting last year that wounded gabrielle giffords and killed five others. redeeming story of the angel of tucson, welcome to you both. it's -- i've just become the father of a young baby daughter. my first girl. when i read this, it was just heartbreaking. it's the ultimate nightmare for any parent. i can't imagine the worst scenario. can you ever imagine a time you will get over it? how's it been for you? >> i don't think we'll ever get over it. the pain will always be there. time does heal some wounds, but we're always going to miss here and be sad about it. >> she's a bright, funny, you know, very cheery girl and tell
me about your daughter. >> she had a lot of qualities. she -- she was very outstanding. she loved to get people together and play and things like that and she would direct traffic. one day i went over to her school l to visit her during lunch hour before going to recess and i peeked around and she had about eight kids around her and she was you know, you go this way, all the other girls go this way. the kids meet in the middle. that's what she liked to do. a very social, very noun, she had a competitive fire to her, too. >> on the day, we were just going about your normal lives and you get this awful call. you hear first, then john, you get a call. there must be a sense of disbelief and you realize she's been caught up in this horrific
incident. gabrielle giffords has been shot, presumed dead. other people have been gunned down. what are you thinking? >> i was thinking that it was a nightmare and that i was going to wake up, so i kept on pinching myself and hoping it wasn't real. it was horrible. days after that, i would go to her room and hope to find her in her room. but, you know, obviously, you know that it is real and you just day by day, you know, you just try to cope. and we have a deep faith in god. so we prayed a lot. and that helped us. >> i interviewed mark kelly recently. a remarkable man in many ways. he was saying how desperate they feel for those who lost their lives. i think particularly probably kristina she is so young. you know, she would have been 10 in november -- september.
he was saying really that it's hard to reconcile what happened. you have been able to get to that point? i mean you know when you first discovered your daughter was dead was told did they get the person that did this? >> yes. >> and did it give you any kind of comfort that they had? >> it definitely did. i don't know how people say like natalie hallway's parents cope with not knowing. we knew exactly what happened to our daughter. it was tragic. and, you know, we're still dealing with that today. but, again, our faith and our family and friends kind of got us through, you know, coping with the issues of losing a child. >> it's incredibly powerful the book. i commend people to read it. what was it like for you to be involved in the writing of it? was it cathartic in a sense? >> it was very difficult. there was a lot of dark days and hard moments and a lot of times
i was just -- i can't do this anymore. it's too painful. >> is it hard to reconcile your faith when something like this happens? >> no, not for me. we're very religious and we just believe she went to a better place and she's in heaven. and that some day we'll meet again. as much as we miss her, we know that she's in a better place and god had a plan for her. >> let's take a little break. i want to come back and talk about the person that did this, what you feel about him, what you feel should happen to him, what you feel about these kind of incidents, gun laws and that kind of thing and lessons to be learned from this. financial advice is everywhere. real, objective investing help? that's a little harder to find. but here's what i know -- td ameritrade doesn't manage mutual funds... or underwrite stocks and bonds. or even publish their own research. so, guidance from td ameritrade isn't about their priorities.
and then there is a 9-year-old, kristina. she was a dancer, gymnast, swimmer. she decided she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues and as the only girl on her little league team, no one put it past her. >> president obama speaking of kristina taylor-green and the other victims. her parents are back with me now. incredible moment for the president of the united states paying such a awesome tribute to your daughter. it obviously couldn't bring her back which is all you really
want. talk about the person that did this. what are your views of him? >> well, we do feel, you know, he was mentally disturbed. so we decide not to, as a family, he would wouldn't talk much about him. we didn't want to glorify his, you know, his position. there have been other feudings around the country, it seems to me, that sometimes people get -- they feel like they're going to go out in a blaze of glory and see their name, you know, in the media. and we just choose not to talk much about him. we know he's going to be, justice will be served and that will be taken care of. >> one of the small crumbs of comfort that you could derive from what happened is you donated kristina's organs. you saved several other
children's lives by doing so. remarkable thing to have done. tell me about that. >> that came about with roxanna and her mother. they had conversations in the past. unfortunately, two years ago roxanna's mother passed away from brain aneruysm. and as a family, we talked about being an organ donor. actually, we involved our kids a little bit in that discussion. and, you know, just a little bit. they were young. but wanted them to hear about it. and kristina was well aware of that and thought it was a good idea. we donated when your mother passed, we donated her organs. >> you set up kristina taylor-green memorial foundation. tell me about that. >> the foundation we set up a mission statement for the foundation. we thought it was a good way to -- a lot of people across the country, we were a little bit surprised, to be honest with you, about all the attention
that kristina got, we were just trying to get over the pain ourselves. but moneys came in. people, well wishers, you know, sent us a lot of donations. we thought well, we're going to start this foundation in kristina's name. we helped out her elementary school with smart boards in every room so that all the kids would have a equal access to that technology. we donated some to cross middle school which is also in town, sizable sum to upgrade their computer technology. and that's the kind of things that kristina is involved in. >> i think if people want to help, what do they do? >> go to kristinataylorgreen.org. there are items on the website.